According to businessinsider.com.au, the NSW government is partnering with Atlassian to create a new technology innovation hub in Sydney.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Trade and Industries Niall Blair and Atlassian co-CEO and co-founder Scott Farquhar unveiled the plan this morning.
“This will be the home of 10,000 new jobs in the future, it will be Australia’s version of Silicon Valley,” Berejiklian said.
“We’ll make sure that every person around the world wants to work here. The best and brightest locally, but also the best and brightest around the world wanting to work here for those tech innovation jobs.”
The government hopes the precinct, at the south end of the Sydney CBD between Central station and Eveleigh, will cement the city’s reputation as the innovation capital of Australia. It is a huge turnaround from a failed proposal by Atlassian in 2015 to develop the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh, which the state government rejected in favour of a $263 million bid by the Commonwealth Bank and Mirvac, the property development giant.
A taskforce, headed by Jobs for NSW chair David Thodey, will lead design and development of the new precinct.
Co-CEO and co-founder of Atlassian Scott Farquhar said it would help the next generation of tech startups grow.
“Fifteen years ago, there was no technology precinct or technology industry in Australia,” said Farquhar, speaking at a launch event this morning at ProtoSpace, an advanced manufacturing facility at the University of Technology, Sydney.
“As computer science graduates the best we could hope for was working at a bank or a consultancy organisation… and Mike and I weren’t up for that. So with a healthy dose of naivety we started out on our own.
“Fast-forward to today, Sydney now has a thriving tech industry. We have VC… we have great universities, we have lots of startups, we have tech incubators, and we have co-working spaces, but what we’ve been missing until today is a home.
“I’m really excited we’re establishing this tech precinct in Sydney, I think we have finally found a home for technology here in Sydney.
“Today we sent a really strong signal to the world that Sydney is open for business for technology, the largest industry on the planet.”
Representatives from University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney and Sydney Business Chamber will join the taskforce.
The location of the hub was chosen due to the transport and infrastructure development in the city, as well as the established technology sector.
“Forty per cent of startups are based here in Sydney, 40% of [Australia’s] R&D is based in Sydney, now this hub is going to underpin that and allow us to grow when it comes to our tech footprint in NSW,” Blair said.
“It’s an environment, an ecosystem where the industry will grow and the government is backing it all the way.”
Blair added: “The Central to Eveleigh area is uniquely placed as an innovation precinct and is ideal for technology firms to attract and retain Australian and international talent.”
The government will also consult industry experts, such as Atlassian, to ensure the success of the precinct.
Other industry players including co-working space Fishburners, and industry representative body Tech Sydney, will work with the government to co-create the precinct.
“We’re going to take advice from all the stakeholders that are here about what to do because we want to attract the best talent from around the nation, people want to have a cool place to work and live, and also to entertain themselves so this precinct will be a mix of all those things but primarily a creator of jobs,” said Berejiklian.
The Premier would not put a cost against the project. She said the state government has already dedicated “quite a few dollars” in relation to supporting existing startups and will potentially forgo on land for the development of this new precinct.
‘Australia’s version of Silicon Valley’
Berejiklian says the government will try to find a name for the precinct.
She hopes it will be something “cool” similar to Silicon Valley “to generate that level of excitement and interest”.
The new unnamed precinct in Eveleigh will work separately to recently launched Sydney Startup Hub near Wynyard Station.
A spokesperson for the Premier told Business Insider the new precinct would not replace the hub, which the state government is investing $35 million into over five years, but complement the facility.
“Sydney Startup Hub is an exceptionally popular space for growing technology and innovation firms,” they said.
“We expect Sydney Startup Hub to have a long and successful future.
“Naturally, over time, some companies currently working there may gravitate to the technology precinct that the Premier announced today.”